Mid-Continent Section

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New Insights Into Lithostratigraphic Architecture of Subsurface Lower to Middle Mississippian Petroliferous Strata in Southern Kansas and Northern Oklahoma


Lithostratigraphic and architectural development of Lower-Middle Mississippian rocks in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma and petroleum reservoirs therein were affected by syndepositional tectonism related to Ouachita plate convergence. Tectonism during the Kinderhookian to early Osagean resulted in southward shallowing, erosional thinning, and on-lap of the St. Joe Group onto the Kanoka Ridge, which precluded distal deepening into starved, condensed basinal shales. Foundering of the ridge in middle Osagean time coincided with increased subsidence and northward back-stepping of deeper-water environments on the Burlington Shelf, and then rapid southward progradation of the Reeds Spring-Bentonville slope and platform depositional system. Progradation likely was facilitated by limited subsidence and accommodation space during this time and rapid influx of platform-derived sediments. Uplift along the Kanoka Ridge during the late Osagean resulted in tripolite formation in the upper Reeds Spring Limestone, and then erosion of a paleotopographic low into which the Cowley Formation was deposited. Progradational, spiculitic Cowley facies in the north are shale-dominated, and younger wedges in Oklahoma are carbonate-dominated. Chert-clast breccia in the Bentonville, tripolite in the Reeds Spring, and spiculite in the Cowley are the main petroleum reservoirs in these rocks, and porosity in each is of secondary meteoric-dissolutional origin.